TWD: Chocolate Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

I used to make thumbprint cookies every Christmas. Yummy little buttery cookies filled with seedless jams and lemon curd, small enough to pop into your mouth with one bite! Yum.. After reading through this week’s TWD thumbprint cookie recipe and noticing that ground hazelnuts played a big roll, I immediate thought that Nutella would be an ideal filling.

The chocolate (not the Nutella) idea was actually an after thought. I had already rolled one full cookie sheet (by the way, I doubled the size of the cookies, 60 was just too many) when I decided to add a tablespoon of cocoa to the remaining dough. So half of my cookies were as written and the other half were a little chocolatey.

As lovely as they look, I think I made a mistake. You see, as I was grinding the hazelnuts I realized that they weren’t toasted, but raw. The ground nuts were sticking together a little bit, so I was concerned that there would be too much moisture. So I went ahead and toasted the hazelnuts, which brought out the wonderful flavor they possess. However, I think they may have contributed to the cookie’s unfortunate dryness. :( I don’t think the added cocoa had anything to do with the dryness as both versions were equally dry. :-/


I also am not certain if the Nutella was really the ideal filling for these. Perhaps if they were fill halfway through baking, and then allowed to back again, the filling may have set up. Not sure. As soon as you take a bite, and long string of Nutella hits your chin. Still tasty… Nutella is always tasty. :)

I looked back at my own thumbprint recipe, which always turns out tender and buttery, and found that the only ingredients are flour, butter, sugar, orange juice, and an egg yolk. Dorie’s recipe contains flour and ground hazelnuts for the dry ingredients, and sugar, butter and extracts for the wet. There’s no egg yolk or any other liquid. That leads me to believe that she used the moisture from the ground nuts to contribute to the moisture.

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Another difference between mine and Dorie’s is that hers bake all the way before filling them. Mine you bake 10 minutes, fill them, then bake 5 minutes more. Dorie boils the jam and fills the cookies after they are baked.

These were fun, they were easy to make, but I still like my thumbprint recipe better. I’ll have to post them one of these days!

Special thanks go out to Mike from Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude (don’t you just LOVE that blog title?? Hee hee!) for hosting this week’s Tuesday With Dorie pick! You can get the recipe from Mike’s blog, or turn to page 164 of Baking From My Home to Yours by the fabulous Dorie Greenspan.


  1. Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" says

    I baked mine today and had the dryness/crumbly issue after I baked them, I redented them because they filled back in and some just crumbled apart. I love that you don't bake the jam in these, not a fan of that gooey chewy stuck in your teeth jam, lol. What was nice is the jam sets up nicely after sitting a while. I used almonds for mine, and thought these were great little cookies. =) I too thought chocolate would be fun in these.

  2. jillbert says

    They look wonderful, but mine were dry too. I also used Nutella and found that the whole blob came along with the first bite and then I had an empty cookie left. :(

  3. jose manuel says

    Que galletas más increibles. Por aquí ese tipo de galletas se hacen poco. Las tuyas tienen una pinta estupenda. Gracias por la receta. Un saludo desde España

  4. mike says

    I don't think these look dry at all! There's a few cracks here and there (just like mine), but they look nutty, crumbly (a good-crumbly) and the Nutella filling is wonderful. Love the addition of cocoa – what a great idea!

  5. Mary says

    They look really nice with Nutella in them! I also thought 60 cookies was too much, so I halved the recipe. I filled mine with lemon curd, and I didn't find them dry at all. They were like shortbread.

  6. Romaine says

    Like you, I prefer my own recipe with an egg yolk added. Nutella sounds tasty even if it is messy. Very nice pictures.

  7. Deeva says

    Yessss, nutella. MMMMMM! That one photo of the half eaten cookie and the nutella just sitting there, yea that's a great one.

  8. Nickki says

    Your cookies look delicious! I also thought of adding nutella but I didn't, definitely next time though! I would happily eat nutella straight from the jar – who am I kidding, I DO ;-)

  9. Katrina says

    Now THOSE are for us big guys (gals)!
    And great minds think alike. I knew there would be many who used Nutella, as did I. I loved them. I didn't think they were too dry and I even overbaked some of mine–a little crumbly, but a great texture.

  10. myfamousrecipe says

    Your post reminded me that I had to add a good bit of water to the dough in order to get these to roll into balls. They were too dry and crumbly to work with at first. Anyway, Nutella!? Yum!

  11. biz319 says

    My daughter was introduced to Nutella at the age of 8, when I met my now Italian husband – she loves the stuff, and it will be in her future apartment! :D

    The cookies look pretty though!

  12. Heather says

    They look good! Not one of my favourite recipes but will have to find another version of thumbprints too try.

  13. Lauryn says

    Thats too bad that they came out dry! They look amazing!! I'm surprised that the nutella wasnt a better filling. I used dark chocolate in some of mine and they were great!!

  14. CB says

    What a great idea. Adding cocoa powder. Now I wanna try that the next time I bake these cookies. Sorry yours came out dry. :( I was a little suprised that Dorie's recipe didn't have eggs either. I used almond meal instead of ground hazelnuts and the texture wasn't dry for me.

  15. Erin@The Sweet Life says

    You did it! When I ate my first Thumbprint tonight filled with blackberry jam, I thought to myself, "I shoulda filled these with Nutella!" But just last week I ate what was left of my jar. Straight out of the jar. With a spoon. Therapy in the form of chocolate hazelnut spread. Anyway, your cookies look delicious!

  16. Teanna says

    I'm sorry these weren't a hit with you, but I loved reading your comparisons between your go-to recipe and Dorie! And I love the description of the Nutella coming out in a string and landing on your chin! That is so accurate! But I do love what you did with the recipe! You're brilliant, woman!

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